Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Give Us Grace: An Anthology of Anglican Prayers

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Give Us Grace: An Anthology of Anglican Prayers

Article excerpt

Give Us Grace: An Anthology of Anglican Prayers. Compiled by Christopher L. Webber. Harrisburg, Pa., London, and New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2004. xxi + 521 pp. $29.95 (cloth).

As readers of his previous work will know, Christopher L. Webber is much more than an anthologist, but an anthologist he surely is. He has given to the church collections of seasonal readings (A Time to Turn: Anglican Readings for Lent and Easter and Love Came Down: Anglican Readings for Advent and Christmas), A Book of Vigils, and A Traveller's Prayer Book, among others. These line the shelf with such non-anthological offerings as Welcome to the Episcopal Church, The Vestry Handbook, The Art of the Homily, and A New Metrical Psalter. Prolific would not be the wrong word here.

This volume is another collection. As the subtitle reports, here we have Anglican prayers, prayers from all over the world and from all sorts of sources. The table of contents runs for five and a half pages, giving the reader clues about the richness to follow. The two indexes at the end are very handy as well.

The collection begins with the work of individuals arranged chronologically, from Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) through Janet Morley and Stephen Reynolds, both born in 1951. After these selections come gleanings from liturgical books in use around the Anglican Communion. This is to say that the reader will be treated to the faithful prayer of Lancelot Andrewes, John Donne, Jeremy Taylor, Hannah More, Absalom Jones, Florence Nightingale, Sabine Baring-Gould, Austin Farrer, John Coburn, Paul Gibson, Frank Griswold, and Christopher L. Webber-only to begin the list.

The brief introduction to the collection is very useful. Explaining that whereas any gathering of Anglican prayers will be "dominated by the rhythms of the Book of Common Prayer (p. xiii)," the compiler points to other streams of influence-"The Celtic Tradition," "The Eastern Influence," "The Medieval Heritage," and "A Worldwide Church. …

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